The gap between childhood and adulthood is known as adolescence. It entails some significant changes to the physical structure of the body as well as how a young person interacts with the outside environment and goes through physical, behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and social developmental changes. A child’s existence has traditionally focused mostly on their family. When a teenage individual enters adolescence, their social circle expands to include friends of the same sex as well as the opposite sex, people of other social and cultural groups, and other adults, such as their favourite teacher or coach. Teenagers eventually get the ability to fall in love and establish romantic relationships.
The biological changes of adolescence are known as puberty. The majority of children reach their adult height and weight by the middle of adolescence, if not before, and are now physically ready to become parents.
Teenage pregnancy is when a girl under 20 gets pregnant. It is when a woman who is 19 years or younger. After starting to have regular monthly periods, a woman can become pregnant at any age if she engages in vaginal intercourse with a male.
Signs and symptoms
The most common sign of pregnancy is missing one or more menstrual cycles. Teenage females, whose periods aren’t yet regular, may find this challenging. Girls whose menstrual cycles are irregular due to diets, exercise, low body fat from sports, or anorexia may find it challenging. Other signs include
- A missed menstrual period
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sudden, severe dislike of a certain dish, especially meat or fried, fatty foods
- Sore breasts or nipples
- Unusual exhaustion
- Frequently urinating
- Erratic mood changes
- Having dizziness
- Gaining weight
- Swollen abdomen
Effects of Teenage Pregnancy
Teenage pregnancies can harm girls, their families, and communities in negative social and economic ways. One may feel more alone and depressed if they don’t communicate to someone or obtain the support and assistance they need. This could cause issues at home and at school. Teenage mothers who are not married may experience bullying or rejection from their parents and classmates, as well as threats of physical harm. Violence within a marriage or partnership is also more likely to occur for girls who become pregnant before the age of 18.
Other risk Factors Include:
1. Lack of prenatal care: Teens who are pregnant face the danger of not receiving the proper prenatal care, especially if their parents don’t support them. The first few months of pregnancy are very important for prenatal care. It checks for medical issues in both the mother and the unborn child, keeps track of the child’s development, and responds immediately to any issues that may occur.
2. High blood pressure: Pregnant adolescents are more likely than pregnant women in their 20s or 30s to have high blood pressure, often known as pregnancy-induced hypertension, which can result in additional pregnancy issues including premature birth.
3. Premature birth: An average pregnancy lasts 40 weeks to term. Premature babies, sometimes known as “preemies,” are those that are born before 37 weeks. The risk of respiratory, digestive, visual, cognitive, and other issues increases with an infant’s birth time.
4. Low birth-weight baby: Teenagers are more likely to give birth to low-birth-weight infants. Babies that are born early, often weigh less than they should. That’s partly because they have less time to develop in the womb. Low birth weight babies weigh between 3.3 and 5.5 pounds at birth. A newborn with an extremely low birth weight is under 3.3 pounds. In a hospital’s newborn care unit, babies that small may require the use of a ventilator to assist with breathing after birth.
5. Postpartum depression: Teenage mothers may be more susceptible to developing postpartum depression, which begins after giving birth. Girls who experience depression and sadness during or after pregnancy should be open and honest with their doctors or another person they can trust. Healthy teen growth and taking appropriate care of a baby can both be hampered by depression, but both conditions are treatable.
6. Risk to teenage boys: Compared to other young men, teen fathers have a 30% lower likelihood of completing high school. Some would-be young dads may suffer from emotional, physical, and financial strain due to concerns about their partners’ health, a lack of money, difficulties with their schooling, and other pressures.
7. Feeling alone and isolated: Feeling terrified, alone, and alone may be a genuine concern, particularly for teenagers who believe they can’t tell their parents they are pregnant. Teenagers who are pregnant are less likely to eat healthily, exercise, or get enough sleep when they lack the support of their families or other adults. Additionally, they are less likely to attend their scheduled prenatal checkups.
Other mental health issues include:
- Baby blues
- Self-esteem problems
The only sure method of preventing unintended pregnancies is to refrain from sexual activity. Effective contraceptives (such as condoms, birth control tablets, patches, the vaginal ring, injectable birth control techniques, etc.) should always be used by sexually active teens to lower the risk of unintended pregnancy. In addition to utilizing a form of birth control that prevents conception, wearing condoms appropriately will lower everyone’s chance of contracting HIV and other STIs.
How Parents help their children to avoid teenage Pregnancy:
- Know your own sexual preferences and principles
- Discuss sex and love with your children frequently and early. Be precise
- Keep an eye on and supervise your kids’ activities
- Know your children’s friends and their families
- Discourage early, frequent and steady dating
- Encourage your adolescents to consider possibilities for the future that is far more appealing than early pregnancy and parenting by strongly opposing their dating someone who is considerably older or younger than they are
- Your value for education should be highlighted.
- Be aware of what your children are reading, viewing, and listening to
- Make an effort to maintain a warm, loving, disciplined, and communicative relationship